13.01.2018 19:01:00

Minister Hehr promotes inclusion and sport on tour of southwest Ontario

LONDON, ON, Jan. 13, 2018 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, wrapped up a week-long tour of southwest Ontario. Minister Hehr was inspired by all the people he met in the disability community as well as the great athletes he saw in action.

During Minister Hehr's visit he announced three Enabling Accessibility Fund projects, in Waterloo and Kitchener, Hamilton and London. The Enabling Accessibility Fund provides support for community-based projects across Canada aimed at improving accessibility in public facilities and in workplaces.

Minister Hehr also announced a project with the YWCA Hamilton funded through the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities. The YWCA received over $150,000 through the Opportunities Fund (OF) for Persons with Disabilities. As a result of the funding, the organization is now able to support people with disabilities in finding, obtaining, and maintaining employment or self-employment over a 39-week period, and has already helped 16 people.

At the beginning of the week, Minister Hehr had the opportunity to tour the Music Therapy Clinic at the Wilfrid Laurier University and he then visited the KidsAbility Centre for Child Development in Cambridge.

Minister Hehr was also thrilled to have the opportunity to visit sporting facilities and meet athletes who live and train in southwest Ontario. Stops included taking in a PeeWee hockey game at the Galt Gardens Arena in Cambridge, the oldest continuously operating ice hockey arena in the world, and meeting the 2017 Vanier Cup Champions, the Western Mustangs. Minister Hehr also toured the recently renovated Boler Mountain snow sport facility and met with disabled athletes training in the inclusive Track 3 program, some of which are athletes with the Special Olympics.


"I am so impressed by all the amazing organizations, communities and athletes I met while visiting southwest Ontario this week. It was great to see firsthand how Government of Canada funding is helping to increase opportunities for people with disabilities to participate fully in their communities and workplaces. I saw how hard work, dedication and a passion for sports can help athletes of all abilities achieve their goals.
– The Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

Quick Facts

Enabling Accessibility Fund

  • The Enabling Accessibility Fund has an annual budget of $15 million.
  • Since the creation of the Enabling Accessibility Fund, the Government of Canada has funded close to 3,000 projects, helping thousands of Canadians gain access to their communities' programs, services and workplaces.

Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities

  • The OF provides financial support to community organizations that assist persons with a permanent physical or mental disability that restricts their ability to perform daily activities.
  • OF program participants typically have significant detachment from the labour force and are ineligible for assistance under Employment Insurance Employment Benefits.

Associated Links

Funding: Enabling Accessibility in Workplaces and Communities

Funding: Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities – Local and Regional Projects- Overview

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

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